LETTER: Movie Theater Has Great Potential as a Performing Arts Center

Letter to the editor from Adele Greene, Director, Greenwich Classic Film Series originally sent to Katie DeLuca, Greenwich Town Planner

When I attended the Greenwich Planning & Zoning (July 30) meeting I was not aware that the town asked the developer to “think out of the box” and present ideas for a vibrant and modern Greenwich, in keeping with the “floor area and parking requirements.”

I just finished reading the “Town of Greenwich Plan of Conservation and Development” and I noticed that there were only two mentions of “the arts” in the entire presentation. So perhaps this is the time to expand the horizons for Greenwich and the people who live there, work there and love to visit this unique town.

The large Bow Tie movie theater on the corner of Railroad Ave and Greenwich Ave could be transformed into a Performing Arts Center to be used as a movie theater for special film presentations, a theater performance space, a home for orchestra and choral presentations, dance, plus film festivals and many other events.

The community has this large movie theater with a 437-seat theater space (plus two smaller 100–seat theaters ) that is already built and could be renovated for use as a multi-purpose theater for all kinds of performances. The Greenwich location would draw attendance from Stamford, Norwalk, Westport plus Rye, Port Chester, Harrison, Scarsdale, White Plains – and more.

Greenwich is a destination city much like Lincoln Center – there is great shopping and terrific and varied restaurants. Plus convenient parking after 6:00pm during the week and all day on the weekends. That’s a place people want to travel to. And the current Bow Tie Movie Theater is the doorway to the community. Welcome to all.

Most people agree that the arts contribute to the quality of our lives – but they also contribute to the economy of the community, as well. For example, the arts in NYC contribute more to the economy of NYC than all the sports teams combined. Theater ticket sales in NYC this past year are 1.8 billion dollars… and 70% of theater ticket sales are from visitors to the city. People will go where the action is, so to speak.

And why not make Greenwich that place where exciting things are happening.

People will travel for quality art performances and that revenue can contribute financially to Greenwich.

I believe an arts center that can house and sponsor artistic performances and events would benefit everyone in the community in thrilling & exciting ways.

Adele Greene, Director, Greenwich Classic Film Series

See also:

P&Z WATCH: Proposed Train Station Architecture: Urbanistically Appropriate?

Town of Greenwich and Ashforth Company Announce $45 Million Transportation Center Revitalization